New American Standard Bible
And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven. It is a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with.
King James Bible
And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.
Darby Bible Translation
And I applied my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: this grievous occupation hath God given to the children of men to weary themselves therewith.
World English Bible
I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under the sky. It is a heavy burden that God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with.
Young's Literal Translation
And I have given my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that hath been done under the heavens. It is a sad travail God hath given to the sons of man to be humbled by it.
Ecclesiastes 1:13 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Wisdom - As including both the powers of observation and judgment, and the knowledge acquired thereby (1 Kings 3:28; 1 Kings 4:29; 1 Kings 10:8, ...). It increases by exercise. Here is noted its application to people and their actions.
Travail - In the sense of toil; the word is here applied to all human occupations.
God - God is named as אלהים 'elohı̂ym thirty-nine times in this book; a name common to the true God and to false gods, and used by believers and by idolators: but the name Yahweh, by which He is known especially to the people who are in covenant with Him, is never once used.
Perhaps the chief reason for this is that the evil which is the object of inquiry in this book is not at all unique to the chosen people. All creation Romans 8 groans under it. The Preacher does not write of (or, to) the Hebrew race exclusively. There is no express and obvious reference to their national expectations, the events of their national history, or even to the divine oracles which were deposited with them. Hence, it was natural for the wisest and largest-hearted man of his race to take a wider range of observation than any other Hebrew writer before or after him. It became the sovereign of many peoples whose religions diverged more or less remotely from the true religion, to address himself to a more extensive sphere than that which was occupied by the twelve tribes, and to adapt his language accordingly. See the Ecclesiastes 5:1 note.
LibraryThe Past and the Future
'The thing that hath been, it is that which shall he; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.'--ECCLES. i. 9. 'That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles.'--l PETER iv. 2, 3. If you will look at these two passages carefully you will, I think, see that they imply two different, and in some respects …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
"And Hereby we do Know that we Know Him, if we Keep his Commandments. "
"Man puts an end to darkness, And to the farthest limit he searches out The rock in gloom and deep shadow.
And I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I realized that this also is striving after wind.
Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity.
For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God's sight. This too is vanity and striving after wind.
I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves.
He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.
There was a certain man without a dependent, having neither a son nor a brother, yet there was no end to all his labor. Indeed, his eyes were not satisfied with riches and he never asked, "And for whom am I laboring and depriving myself of pleasure?" This too is vanity and it is a grievous task.
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